A pioneer of the sustainable movement in fashion, Stella McCartney is one of the most conscious designers of her generation. She spent lockdown thinking about where the industry is heading, and how she can make it better. It's why her new SS21 collection, made with 65% sustainable materials, is entitled 'The McCartney A to Z Manifesto' and comes with an alphabetised call to action programme.
What's more, Stella reached out to 26 artists friends, asking them to choose a letter and create an artwork to illustrate it - some of the finished products are already available to see on McCartney’s Instagram account (Cindy Sherman, for example, created an E for Effortless while Jeff Koons, worked with K for Kind).
“During our global moment of pause, I found myself asking bigger questions about what I do and why I do it. How can we all come back to the world more mindful, more conscious? One sleepless night, I put my thoughts on what really matters into words. As I shared it with my team, it became a manifesto of sorts”, recalls Stella in her press notes. “It grew into the McCartney A to Z Manifesto – a map of our DNA and a blueprint of our future intentions; everything we know, believe and love about fashion. I wanted to define who we are and who we hope to be. It is a guide to keep us accountable and a challenge to be the best sustainable fashion house anywhere”.
This season, there are mini lace dresses and cycling shorts which are completely upcycled, created from the off cuts from past collections. (All are limited edition, when McCartney runs out of fabric, they will not be reproduced). The shell-printed jumpsuits are made out of eco-friendly viscose, while all tailoring pieces are made with traceable wool and natural linen. Hybrid lingerie and swimwear pieces are made from recycled bottles and other nylons; flip flops are upcycled, while clog sandals are a mix of vegan, cruelty-free leather and sustainably-sourced wood. And it doesn't stop there. Sunglasses have bio-acetate and bamboo frames and bio-lenses, and have been developed in partnership with LVMH-owned sunglasses manufacturer company Thélios.
Though she normally stages a show, this season McCartney called upon Mert and Marcus to shoot models in the garden of Houghton Hall in Norfolk, which is filled with contemporary art sculptures from the likes of Richard Long, Philipp King, and more. A perfect summation of her fashion point of view: art, nature and timeless design.